Sacha Baron Cohen slammed Donald Trump and rapper Kayne West during his performance at the Kennedy Center Honors on Sunday night – the same evening Paul Pelosi made his dramatic first public appearance since he was brutually attacked.
Cohen, in his Borat persona, mocked Trump for having orange skin and a fat belly. He also criticized West’s anti-semitic remarks during his tribute to the Irish rock band U2. The audience roared with laughter in response to the actor’s wisecracks.
‘I am told the president of yours today is here. Where are you Mr. Trump?,’ Borat said.
As the cameras panned to President Joe Biden, sitting in a box seat, Borat exclaimed: ‘You don’t look so good,’ adding that ‘you big belly is gone. And your pretty orange skin has gone pale.’
He then turned his attention to Jill Biden, seated next to the president.
‘But I see you have a new wife. She is very erotic. I must look away before I get a Bono,’ Borat said. The first lady laughed in response.
Cohen kept up his performance as the Kazakhstan journalist Borat as he went after his next target – Kanye West, who now goes by Ye.
‘I must say I am very upset about the anti semitism in USA. It is not fair. Kazakhstan is number one Jew crushing nation. Stop stealing our hobby. Stop the steal. Stop the steal,’ he said.
‘Your Kayne – he tried to move to Kazakhstan and even tried to change his name the Kazakhstan way. But we said. He’s too anti-semitic, even for us,’ Borat noted.
The audience broke into applause.
That audience included Pelosi, who joined his wife Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a box seat, more than a month after suffering a brutal hammer attack at his San Francisco home.
Pelosi joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a box seat to view the annual televised ceremony, sporting a black hat and a glove on his left hand
President Biden gestures to Paul Pelosi (in black hat)
Actors Sacha Baron Cohen and his wife Isla Fisher pose for a photo on the red carpet at the Kennedy Center Honors
Doug Emhoff gives Speaker Nancy Pelosi a kiss as her husband Paul looks on
Pelosi wore a black hat over his head and a glove on his left hand. He and Speaker Pelosi were seated next to Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, who have the speaker a kiss on the cheek.
At one point, Paul Pelosi could be seen smiling and pointing toward the president, who smiled and gestured back. Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein, during the taping of the show, pointed out Pelosi to the crowd.
The audience – made up of lawmakers, donors to the Kennedy Center, and bold-faced political names – gave him a standing ovation. Paul Pelosi waved to the crowd.
He chose to make his reappearance to public life at the taping of the 45th Kennedy Center Honors, which will air on CBS on December 28.
This year’s honorees are actor George Clooney; singer-songwriter Amy Grant; singer Gladys Knight; Cuban-born American composer Tania León; and iconic Irish rock band U2, comprised of band members Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr.
Paul Pelosi and Speaker Pelosi did not walk the red carpet of the gala, black-tie event, as they have in previous years.
But the couple sat side-by-side inside the ornate Kennedy Opera House, where the Honors are taped.
Pelosi suffered injuries to his head, arm, and hands during the brutal attack inside his home, ‘waking up in a pool of his own blood,’ according to charging documents.
His appearance came at the top of a feel-good event event that celebrated talents of the screen and concert stage, and drew big name guests and presenters including Julia Roberts and Matt Damon.
Of the honorees, Clooney was the object of much good-natured mocking from his friends and co-stars.
Roberts wore a dress with various pictures of Clooney printed on it. Clooney roared with laughter when he saw it.
Damon, who worked with Clooney on ‘Ocean’s Eleven,’ ribbed his former co-star, as someone beyond a reputation as one of the last movie stars – someone ‘who once stole Bill Clinton’s stationary and wrote fake notes to actors saying how much the president loves their movies.’
The camera then panned to Clooney, who shrugged.
But the actor wiped away tears when his father, retired broadcaster Nick Clooney, spoke about him.
‘I will always be a very proud father,’ he said.
Clooney walked the red carpet with wife Amal.
‘We see Amal Clooney’s husband,’ President Biden joked at the White House before the event
Honorees U2 bandmembers Irish musicians Larry Mullen Jr, Adam Clayton, The Edge, Bono and US actor George Clooney attend the 45th Kennedy Center Honors
Hunter Biden and his wife Melissa Cohen joined first lady Jill Biden and President Joe Biden in the presidential box at the taping of the Kennedy Center Honors
The Speaker is appearing to hand over her gavel, although she won her reelection to a San Francisco district
At one point, he could be seen smiling and pointing toward the president, who smiled and gestured back while Vice President Kamala Harris grinned
President Joe Biden hosted the Kennedy Center Honorees at the White House before the taping of the show on Sunday evening
Clooney, 61, became a household name in the 1990s with his role of Doug Ross on the television show ER.
He’s starred in a slew of fils including ‘Batman & Robin,’ ‘Good Night & Good Luck,’ and ‘Ocean’s Eleven.’ He is married to humanitarian rights lawyer Amal Clooney.
Together the two have created the Clooney Foundation for Justice.
‘We see Amal Clooney’s husband,’ President Biden joked at the White House before the event at a reception for the honorees. He lauded Clooney for his ‘deep empathy,’ and said he ‘never forgot’ his roots in Kentucky and Ohio.
‘To see each other, to see ourselves in one another, to unite in common cause – tonight we celebrate a truly exceptional…group of artists,’ Biden said at the White House.
Knight was honored by Garth Brooks, Ariana DeBose and Patti LaBelle.
Knight, 78, began singing gospel music at the age of 4 and went on to a career that has spanned decades.
She and her family members started ‘Gladys Knight & The Pips’ and produced their first album in 1960 when Knight was just 16.
Her classic hits include ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’ and ‘Midnight Train to Georgia,’ with the former getting a new interpretation inside the Kennedy Center by singer and actress Ariana DeBose.
Actor Sean Penn honored U2 as the ‘great musical poets of the ages.’ Rocker Eddie Vedder sang the band’s song ‘Elevation’ during the tribute. Ukraine singer Jamala made an appearance to honor the band’s philanthropic work.
Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. met as teenagers at Dublin’s Mount Temple School, and in 1978, U2 was formed. From the beginning, U2 were marked out by their drive and ambition, forming as a band—as they’ve said—’before they could play.’
U2’s connection to America goes back decades. They performed in Washington during their first trip to America in 1980.
Forty years after they formed, U2 is acknowledged as one of the best live acts in the world. The band has toured the globe countless times, released 14 studio albums, sold 170 million albums, and won numerous awards, including 22 Grammys and Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience award.
Their songs include ‘I Still Haven´t Found What I´m Looking For,’ ‘With or Without You,’ ‘Pride (In the Name of Love)’ and ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday.’
Lead singer Bono has also become known for his philanthropic work to eradicate poverty and to raise awareness about AIDS.
Julia Roberts wore a dress with photos of George Clooney to honor her friend
Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso attend the 45th Kennedy Center Honors, Damon honored his friend George Clooney
Irish singer Bono kisses his wife Ali Hewson on the red carpet for the Kennedy Center Honors
The Honorees attended a reception at the State Department on Saturday night, where they received their medals: In the back row: U2 members Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr., The Edge, and Bono. In the bottom row: Amy Grant, Gladys Knight, George Clooney, and Tania Leon
Bono speaks to Amy Grant at the State Department reception
Bono, Adam Clayton, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr., Amy Grant and George Clooney chat at Saturday night’s reception
Amy Grant’s career spans more than 40 years and stretches from her roots in gospel into becoming an iconic pop star, songwriter, television personality, and philanthropist.
Grant, 62, is well known for crossover pop hits like ‘Baby, Baby,’ ‘Every Heartbeat’ and ‘That’s What Love is For.’
She’s sold more than 30 million albums and is married to country musician Vince Gill. She told the Associated Press she had never been to the Kennedy Center and attending the Honors would be her first time visiting the cultural center.
Composer and conductor Tania Leon, 79, left Cuba as a refugee in 1967 and eventually settled in New York City. She’s a founding member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem and instituted the Brooklyn Philharmonic Community Concert Series.
She won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Music for Stride.
The 45th Kennedy Center Honors will air on Wednesday, December 28 from 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. EST/PST on CBS and will stream on Paramount+.